Monitoring lung edema using the pacemaker pulse and skin electrodes

Andres Belalcazar, Robert P Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Previous clinical studies have shown that impedance measurements using right ventricular (RV) leads can monitor congestion due to heart failure. We previously reported on a three-fold advantage of bipolar left ventricular (LV) leads, which are near the lung, over RV leads in detecting pulmonary edema with impedance. A combined system of internal and external electrodes is now investigated using computer models, for use with conventional cardiac resynchronization (CRT) systems with unipolar LV leads. The system uses the normal LV pacing pulse as current source, and the resultant voltage at two skin electrodes to obtain a lung edema impedance (Z) measurement. Using gated MRIs, thoracic computer models of 3.8 million control volumes were constructed. Changes of Z with edema were simulated with a conventional totally implanted system, as well as with combined implanted-external systems. Right atrial (RA), RV, RV defibrillator coil and LV leads were used. Per cent Z responses to edema were compared. The all implanted responses were RA: 11.8%, RV: 8.6%, RVcoil: 11.3%, LV: 23.8%. The combined system responses were LV-ext: 21.45%, RA-ext: 10.13%, LV-arm leg: 26.08%. The computer models suggest that combined internal-external systems can be as sensitive as the totally implanted ones. Lung edema may be monitored at follow up or home for LV paced patients with only two external electrodes. Using very low impedance configurations optimized by computer can greatly maximize the response, with a cost of poor stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005


  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Edema
  • Impedance
  • Pacemakers

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Monitoring lung edema using the pacemaker pulse and skin electrodes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this